From earlier (15c.) boh, coined to create a loud and startling sound. Compare Middle English bus! (“bang!”, interjection), Latin boō (“cry aloud, roar, shout”, verb), Ancient Greek βοάω (boáō, “shout”, verb).
- A loud exclamation intended to scare someone, especially a child. Usually used when one has been hidden from the victim and then suddenly appears unexpectedly.
- Used ironically in a situation where one had the opportunity to scare someone by speaking suddenly.
- An exclamation used by a member or many members of an audience, as at a stage play or sports game, to indicate derision or disapproval of what has just occurred.
- 1852 July 15, “Dundalk Election”, in The Freeman's Journal, volume lxxxv, Dublin, page 3:
- I ask them to record their votes in my favour, and I ask, is there any man who will dare to call me a stranger (hear, hear, and booing)?
boo (plural boos)
- A derisive shout made to indicate disapproval.
- 2010 December 29, Sam Sheringham, “Liverpool 0 - 1 Wolverhampton”, in BBC:
- ...Hodgson headed down the tunnel with the boos of fans ringing in his ears after an eighth league defeat of the season...
- (intransitive) To shout extended boos derisively.
- When he took the podium, the crowd booed.
- 2004 October 18, The New Yorker:
- Nobody booed and nobody clapped
- (transitive) To shout extended boos at, as a form of derision.
- The protesters loudly booed the visiting senator.
boo (plural boos)
- (slang) Cannabis.
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:marijuana
- 1967, George E. Andrews, Simon Vinkenoog, The Book of Grass: An Anthology on Indian Hemp, page 213:
- […] sexually promiscuous girl who smoked boo all day and socialized with junkies when she wasn't busy banging away in bed […]
- 1984, Raphael S. Ezekiel, Voices from the corner: poverty and racism in the inner city, page 56:
- Like I have smoked boo, drunk whiskey, and shot dope, and I was going through all three bags at once.
- 2019, Ron Cook, On Guard in the General's Chorus, page 2:
- Grandpa doesn't want Grandma and their kids and grandkids to know that he had to get penicillin shots all the time, or that he smoked boo (marijuana) on a daily basis, or that he dealt in the black market, or that he had yobos (purchased live-in sex slaves).
- (now rare, Northern England) To make a sound characteristic of cattle; to moo.
- 1850, “The Missionary Herald”, in The Baptist Magazine, volume 42:
- The cow's tether is put about the neck of the individual who has lost the cow, and he must go about booing like a cow till atonement is made.
- 1894, Emily Seytter, “Barnyard Voices”, in Our Animal Friends: An Illustrated Monthly Magazine, volume 21:
- In the north of England people very often speak about the "oxen booing" (not lowing)
- 1987, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl:
- I remember being in the Great Nut Walk and hearing Old Nettle 'booing' like a cow outside .
boo (plural boos)
- A tail feather from an ostrich.
- 1877 June 15, The Leeds Mercury, volume 114, number 12,225, Leeds, West Yorkshire, page 2, column 5:
- Burglary.—On Monday night or early on Tuesday morning, some thieves effected an entrance into the premises of Mr. W. J. Laybourne, ostrich feather manufacturer, 60, St. John-street, West Smithfield, and carried off 1,000 prime white feathers, 500 long single black, 800 double ditto, 3,000 mixed colours, 500 spadones, 300 white plumes, 300 coloured boos, and 400 long white light feminas, which, with other property, were valued at about £4,000.
- 1891 February 1, “Report on the December Public Sales of Ostrich and Osprey Feathers, Bird Skins, &c.”, in The Humming Bird: A Monthly Scientific, Artistic, and Industrial Review, volume I., number 2, page 16, column 1:
- White Boos declined 10s. to 15s. per lb.; Femina Boos 2s. 6d. to 5s. per lb., and drab Boos about 2s. 6d. per lb.
- 1909 August 12, “Ostrich Feathers of Tripoli”, in Neenah Daily Times, volume 53, number 8,451, Neenah, Wis., Menasha, Wis., column 5:
- The usual kinds of ostrich feathers known to the trade come into the Tripoli market. These are whites, blacks, feminas, byocks, spadonas, boos, drabs and floss.
- “boo”, in OneLook Dictionary Search.
- Leenhardt, M. (1946) Langues et dialectes de l'Austro-Mèlanèsie. Cited in: "ⁿDuᵐbea" in Greenhill, S.J., Blust, R., & Gray, R.D. (2008). The Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database: From Bioinformatics to Lexomics. Evolutionary Bioinformatics, 4:271-283.
- Shintani, T.L.A. & Païta, Y. (1990) Dictionnaire de la langue de Païta, Nouméa: Sociéte d'etudes historiques de Nouvelle-Calédonie. Cited in: "Drubea" in Greenhill, S.J., Blust, R., & Gray, R.D. (2008). The Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database: From Bioinformatics to Lexomics. Evolutionary Bioinformatics, 4:271-283.
boo m (uncountable)
- (Classical) IPA(key): /ˈbo.oː/, [ˈboː]
- (modern Italianate Ecclesiastical) IPA(key): /ˈbo.o/, [ˈbɔːo]
- (intransitive) to cry aloud, bellow, roar; bray
- sed in prima remansi voce et identidem boavi
- but I stayed stuck on the first syllable and brayed it repeatedly
- (transitive) to call loudly upon; bellow, cry or roar forth
- “boo”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
- “boo”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
From Middle English buwen, buȝen, bowen, from Old English būgan, from Proto-West Germanic *beugan, from Proto-Germanic *beuganą, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰūgʰ- (“to bend”). Cognate with English bow, Dutch buigen, German biegen, Danish bue.
boo (plural boos)
- a bow (of greeting)